Angle grinders are handheld power tools that can be used for grinding, smoothing surfaces, cutting, and polishing different materials such as wood, metal, marble, and stone. This tool can remove excess material (even paint and rust!) and smooth jagged cuts easily, sometimes even outperforming many saws. What makes the angle grinder an essential part of your toolbox is its versatility. With the right attachment, you can replace numerous tools and complete tedious and labor-intensive tasks at record speed. For example, you can clean surfaces and polish scratches on wood, stone, and metal in a matter of minutes.
There are many types of angle grinders in the market, and they can cost up to $500 depending on the brand, the characteristics of the tool, and whether it includes accessories. Since you are going to be investing in a new tool, you should be sure you are getting the model you need for your tasks, so you don’t waste any money. To help you make the best choice, we have compiled a list of the 5 best angle grinders of 2021 and we have broken them down into different categories so that you can compare them.
Best overall angle grinder – DeWalt DWE402
DeWalt is one the leading companies that make power tools, so it’s no surprise that the best overall angle grinder is the Dewalt DWE402, a highly powerful option.
This corded grinder packs an 11-amp motor that, together with a 4-½ inch blade that can spin up to 11,000 RPM, makes for one of the best performances you could find in the market. This kind of power means you can easily cut through many kinds of materials in a very short time.
- Next Generation 11 Amp AC/DC 11,000 RPM motor of angle grinder provides the best power to weight/size ratio available
- Dust Ejection System provides durability by ejecting damaging dust and debris particles that enter the metal grinder
- Oversized brushes of this DEWALT angle grinder provide 2 times brush life over previous model (D28402)
- Large spiral bevel gear provides long transmission life
- One-Touch Guard allows for 360 degree rotation of the guard with a single action
The Dewalt DWE402 also includes three interesting and useful features to maximize performance and durability.
The first one is a dust ejection system that prevents damage from dust and debris buildup, increasing the tool’s life span. Next is a One-Touch guard that can rotate up to 360°, allowing it to be placed in the way that best fits your needs. Finally, a Quick-Change Wheel Release system that makes for an easier wheel removal since you do not need to use any kind of wrenches.
It also has a few safety features like the safety lock-off of the paddle switch that prevents accidental start up and an automatic shut-off when the brushes need to be replaced.
DeWalt offers a purchase customization option. For example, if you want to invest a little more, you can add a diamond blade or a kit box. Or if you want to save $10, you can opt out of the safety lock-off feature by choosing the With No Lock option.
The Dewalt DWE402 is the best overall angle grinder because it offers reliability, durability, and quality for approximately $90. You will not find a better deal!
- 11-amp power output and 11,000 RPM
- Safety features
- Easy to operate.
- 3-year warranty
- Beginners might need to practice using the tool until they get used to its power-level to avoid over-grinding.
- Rotating the guard can be difficult.
- Paddle is uncomfortable to use for long periods.
- Heavy (6.2 lbs)
Runner up best angle grinder- Makita 4-1/2″ 9557PBX1
Makita is another popular brand specialized in fabricating top-shelf power tools, so one of their angle grinders had to be included among the top ones in our list.
The Makita 4-1/2″ 9557PBX1 is a corded angle grinder with an ergonomic design that makes for easier cutting and a more comfortable experience. This model comes in second place because it has 7.5-amp power output. However, it can still deliver 11,000 RPM to work quickly and efficiently together with the 4-½ inch blade.
- Powerful 7.5 AMP motor for high output power in a more compact tool (only 4.5 pounds)
- Small diameter barrel grip (only 2 to 1/2 inches) for added comfort
- Labyrinth construction seals and protects the motor and bearings from dust and debris for longer tool life
- Lock on/off feature for continuous operation
- AC/DC switch for use with alternative power source
This model includes motor-protection features such as labyrinth construction and a protective zig-zig varnish that seek to increase durability by sealing the motor and armature to protect them from dust and debris.
On the downside, the Makita 4-1/2″ 9557PBX1 is a bit on the heavier side (4.5 lbs.) and since the grinder itself is part of a kit, it is more expensive ($150, approximately). The kit has 5 4-1/2” grinding wheels, a metal case, cut-off and grinding wheel guards, and a Makita Diamond Blade.
This model is the runner up because it does not have such a higher power output as the DeWalt DWE402. However, it is lighter and still a good and fast option that’s part of a great bundle.
- Comfortable to use.
- 11,000 RPM
- Complete kit
- Lightweight (4.5 lbs)
- 7.5-amp power output
- 1-year warranty
- Costs approximately $150
- Prone to overheat if used for too long.
Best cordless angle grinders
If you usually work on-site and do not have easy access to a power outlet or if you are a DIYer who does not need high power outputs, then you’d do best with a cordless grinder.
Even though this type of grinders is not meant to be used for long periods of time, modern cordless models can be as powerful as corded ones.
We are back to DeWalt, but this time leading the charge (get it?) with one of the best cordless angle grinders.
The DeWalt DCG412B is a powerful grinder that uses a 20V max Lithium-Ion battery to deliver 8,000 RPM. The brushless design improves run time and lifespan, so you do not have to change the brushes so often.
- 8,000 rpm motor provides high power for cutting and grinding applications for the angle grinder
- DEWALT grinder comes with Quick-Change Wheel Release allowing tool free wheel removal without need for a wrench
- Tool-free guard of the metal grinder allows for quick and easy guard adjustments/positioning
- 2-finger trigger switch with lock-off button for convenient activation and easier gripping
- 2-position side handle offers greater control, comfort and versatility
If its power is challenged, the kickback brake engages immediately to stop the wheel and shut the grinder off.
With 4.07 lbs without battery, this lightweight tool can be used for different applications in tight spots where convenience and versatility are a must. On top of not being restricted by a power cord, the ergonomic design features a 2-position side handle for greater control and comfort and the Quick-Change Wheel Release system makes for easier wheel removal.
The drawbacks of the DeWalt DCG412B have to do with the battery. The battery and charger are sold separately (baretool item), so you need to add that to the budget. Furthermore, to get enough juice for your tasks, you need to get a 5Ah battery or more, otherwise you will not get more than 10 minutes of usage.
- 8,000 RPM
- Kickback brake feature
- Comfortable to handle
- Baretool (does not include batteries or charger)
- Battery lasts up to 45 minutes of continuous usage.
- Expensive (over $150)
Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel
Another high-end cordless option is the Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel because it has the power of a corded grinder, but without the cord.
This angle grinder has a 4-½ inch blade and a 7-amp brushless motor that delivers 9,000 RPM. To power the motor, this Milwaukee uses 18V lithium batteries. You need at least a 5Ah battery because it drains them fast. To solve this, you can buy some large, high output batteries. However, keep in mind that they will make the grinder heavier.
- POWERSTATE Brushless Motor: Delivers maximum power and up to 10X longer motor life
- REDLINK PLUS Intelligence provides optimized performance, electronic clutch, and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger
- REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Pack (not included) provides superior pack construction, electronics, and performance to deliver 2X more run-time and more work over pack life
- POWER TO GRIND: World’s first cordless grinder with corded performance.
- DURABILITY: Same metal housing & gearing system as legendary high performance corded grinders
The Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 Fuel is a 5 lbs model with an ergonomic design and a side handle that features a comfortable rubber grip. The metal housing and gearing system adds impressive durability to the tool.
It also includes some characteristics to improve performance and efficiency. For example, accessory changes and guard adjustments can be made with any extra tools, which translates into less downtime during work.
This model is one of the best cordless angle grinders because it can make short work of quick tasks.
- 8,500 RPM
- Comfortable to operate.
- 5-year warranty
- Baretool (does not include batteries or charger)
- Short battery-life
- Expensive (over $150)
Best budget angle grinder – Black and Decker BDEG400
Whether you are on a budget, or only want a good tool that you can use for home renovation or small projects, we have your back!
We cannot talk about tools without mentioning Black and Decker. The BDEG400 model is the cheapest option in this article, but you will still get excellent quality.
- Metal gear case for durability and longer life
- 3 Position side handle provides added comfort and control
- Spindle lock for easy accessory changes
- Included Components: 4-1/2" Small angle grinder, Metal grinding wheel, Spanner wrench, Wheel Guard
- Narrow body for comfortable grip
This corded angle grinder was made with the everyday handyman in mind, so it is power level will not be useful for construction workers or heavy-duty tasks.
However, the 4-½ inch cutting wheel and 6.5 amp brushed motor that delivers 6,500 RPM are perfect for any DIY projects.
For the affordable price of $45, you get a durable tool that is easy and comfortable to handle. It features a metal gear case and industrial-grade sealed bearings to prevent dust damage. The 3-position side handle has a rubber grip for better control in hard to reach or confined spaces.
With the Black and Decker BDEG400 you get unbelievable money value. For a very modest price, you get decent performance, durability, and comfort.
- Decent performance
- 2-year warranty
- Lightweight (4.51 lbs)
- Can be a bit noisy
- Portability. It’s a corded model so you need to have a power outlet nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with an angle grinder?
There are many things you can do with an angle grinder. This tool can handle metalwork, woodwork, and construction; however, it is most commonly found at auto body repair shops, service garages, and workshops.
You can use it for grinding, obviously, but also for smoothing surfaces, cutting, and polishing different materials such as wood, metal, marble, and stone. Basically, with this tool you can remove excess material and smooth jagged cuts easily.
Are angle grinders dangerous?
Angle grinders can be dangerous, especially if handled incorrectly, because removing excess material implies producing sparks, dust, and debris. It is essential to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask or a full-face shield to protect your hands, eyes, and lungs. Furthermore, it is highly important to secure the object or surface you are working on to avoid any slips.
What should I consider when buying an angle grinder?
The main features you should consider when buying an angle grinder are:
- Speed: you need to choose an angle grinder for your skill level. The higher the speed, the more control you need to have, and the harder it will be to handle for a beginner. Ideally, you should choose a grinder that has variable speed so that you can adjust it according to your level of expertise.
- Power source: there are only two options: corded or cordless. Which one is the best for you will depend on what you need to use it for? Corded grinders are usually more powerful, but they have a limited range of motion because you need to have a power outlet nearby. On the other hand, cordless ones offer more freedom of movement, but they can run out of battery quickly and the downtime is approximately one hour to fully charge the battery again.
- Amperage: indicates the grinder’s power level. The higher the amperage, the heavier the tasks it can perform and the longer the motor will last.
- Safety features: angle grinders can be dangerous, so having hand guards can prevent damage to your hands from sparks and splinters.
- Durability: certain features such as a dust sealed design and metal housing increase the durability of the tool.
What is an angle grinder disc?
An angle grinder disc is a thin round attachment that can be used to cut or grind materials. As they are used, they are worn away until they become a small disc that needs to be replaced.
How do I change an angle grinder disc?
Changing the angle grinder disc is quite easy, just follow these short steps:
- Turn off the grinder and unplug it (if it is corded) or remove the battery (if it is cordless) to avoid turning it on by accident.
- If your angle grinder is tool-free, then you simply remove the disc. If it is not, you might need to release the latch or use a screwdriver to remove the disc guard.
- Replace the disc with a new one and make sure to set it in the same way as the other disc.
- Secure the disc or tighten the screw you removed in step 2.
Which angle grinder disc should I buy?
To know which angle grinder disc you need to buy, you must consider the type of material you will be working with and the task you will perform (grinding, cutting, polishing, and so on). The type of disc you will choose will also depend on the hardness and thickness of the material.
The most common type of discs are grinder discs. They can be made of diamond and be used for such materials as stone, concrete, and marble, they can be made of metal and have sharp metal blades to work with wood and plastic.
There are also cut-off discs, which are thinner than grinder discs. They come in different thicknesses, and the thinner the disc, the more careful you will have to be not to bend it.
For cleaning tasks such as removing rust or stripping paint, you have cleaning wheels. They are gentler than the other discs so there is no risk of damaging the surface of the material you are working with.
Finally, there are smoothing wheels made of sandpaper pads and polishing wheels made of softer materials like cotton. Both are designed to smooth rough finishes and brighten dull materials. However, smoothing wheels can also be used for rounding edges and blending sharp angles, and polishing wheels are best suited for clearing up surfaces.
It is important to always make sure that the diameter of the disc fits that of the grinder you own, no matter which type of disc you choose.
If you are looking for versatility and power to cut, smooth, and polish different materials, then you need an angle grinder. They can be an expensive investment, but luckily, we’ve given you the best five options so that you can find one for you no matter your needs or your budget.
All that is left now is for you to read the FAQ section to learn about some safety measures, features you need to consider, and more.
Then, you will be ready to get your new angle grinder!